Tuesday, November 5, 2019

New Year's Eve: 8 Weeks From Tonight

That's a wake-up call for me. I'd like to read a few really good books before 2020 comes around.
And yes, yes, I'm still bemoaning the sub-par, barely mediocre Christmas novel offerings this year, whether mystery or otherwise.
I haven't wasted my time on the chaff. But I am reading Sarah Morgan's offering from 2018, Christmas Sisters, which is set in the Scottish Highlands. I'm reading this before falling asleep. It's decent.. Key word: I found one decent Christmas read. Yay, me.

Reading Plans: I want to read the 5th Maisie Dobbs novel I bought to read for 2019, An Incomplete Revenge. I'm also thinking seriously about reading Snow by the Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, which I planned to read this year. On the agenda.

I'm including an excerpt from a NYT review of Snow by Margaret Atwood:

"This seventh novel from the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk is not only an engrossing feat of tale-spinning, but essential reading for our times.
In Turkey, Pamuk is the equivalent of rock star, guru, diagnostic specialist and political pundit: the Turkish public reads his novels as if taking its own pulse. He is also highly esteemed in Europe: his sixth novel, the lush and intriguing ''My Name Is Red,'' carried off the 2003 Impac Dublin Literary Award, adding to his long list of prizes.
He deserves to be better known in North America, and no doubt he will be, as his fictions turn on the conflict between the forces of ''Westernization'' and those of the Islamists. Although it's set in the 1990's and was begun before Sept. 11, ''Snow'' is eerily prescient, both in its analyses of fundamentalist attitudes and in the nature of the repression and rage and conspiracies and violence it depicts.
Like Pamuk's other novels, ''Snow'' is an in-depth tour of the divided, hopeful, desolate, mystifying Turkish soul. It's the story of Ka, a gloomy but appealing poet who hasn't written anything in years. But Ka is not his own narrator: by the time of the telling he has been assassinated, and his tale is pieced together by an ''old friend'' of his who just happens to be named Orhan."

We have been winterizing like crazy the past few days, to the point of exhaustion. Why, oh why, was October much warmer than last year, much warmer than normal, and now, HELTER SKELTER, the very next week we are crashing into deep solid winter? Temps will drop into the low teens F overnight. Madly washing hats and gloves and winter jackets and coats, priming the snow blower, sending the snow blower to be repaired (oh, no), washing super-warm winter bedding, and the other preps are endless. We were living in a fool's paradise this October. Snow Thursday night followed by daytime temps in the 20s on Friday with lake-effect snow. Now that sounds wonderful for woodland hikes with Sandy.



  1. Around this time of year I also begin to think about my yearly reading. I usually fret a bit that I have not read enough.

    Snow sounds very good. I am trying to read more by non American and non UK authors so maybe I will give it a try.

    1. Hi Brian,
      I think you would really enjoy Snow, from all the people I know who have read it and really are glad they did.

  2. Oh, Judith! I know you don't mind winter, but your post has me reflecting on the fact that this is the first time I have no house to 'winterize' or docks to remove. A weight has been removed, but I'll let you know how I feel when we leave for August/September. We will basically have a reverse winterization with hurricane shutters, etc. Can it really be possible that New Year's Eve is 8 weeks away??!!

    1. JoAnn,
      So happy for you that you are free from the onerous aspects of winter. For me, I take the bad parts in stride because I so very much love the good parts. That's the only thing that makes it worth it.
      And Christmas in 7 weeks--yikes! It seems we were just enjoying the fall colors.

  3. It's just starting to get colder here. Nothing like your kind of cold of course but we're due our first proper frost tomorrow morning. Just back from Cornwall and enojyed seeing the autumn colours on Bodmin Moor and in the trees alongside the road. Picked up a couple of nice travel books while I was down there too. Always a plus.

    An Incomplete Revenge is excellent. One of my favourites so far.

    I cannot believe it's New Year's Eve in eight weeks. That is scary.

    1. Hi Cath,
      How lovely that you've just visited Cornwall--one of my favorite places. Unfortunately I've never been to Bodmin Moor. And some travel literature--sounds great.
      I'm so glad you think so highly of An Incomplete Revenge. That will put me on it more quickly, I think.

  4. Just put The Christmas Sisters on my December reading list—I’ve been looking for some decent holiday reads and this sounds good. Not too sappy and good writing, is what I hear.

  5. Jack is a big Orhan Pamuk fan but I haven't read anything by him. I might join you in reading Snow before the end of the year.